Unbundling Policy in the United States Players, Outcomes and Effects

Communications & Strategies, No. 57, p. 59, 2005

24 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2007

See all articles by Johannes M. Bauer

Johannes M. Bauer

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information

Abstract

Building on attempts during the 1980s to establish principles of Open Network Architecture (ONA), unbundling obligations became a cornerstone of the framework for local competition devised by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Several of the regulations developed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), including the impairment test to assess whether a network element had to be unbundled, the TELRIC pricing method, the obligation to re-bundle network elements to service platforms and the unbundling provisions for broadband networks were challenged repeatedly in court. In response to multiple defeats of earlier rules, the FCC had to refine its approach and define unbundling obligations more narrowly. Effective as of March 11th, 2005, unbundling obligations will essentially be limited to the local copper loop, dedicated interoffice transportation on routes connecting small markets, and high-capacity loops in small markets. Carriers presently using unbundled network elements that do not qualify under the new rules will have to transition to alternative solutions within 12-18 months. During this period, the FCC has set higher ceiling prices for these unbundled network elements. The Commission affirmed the elimination in 2003 of its unbundling obligations in broadband markets.

Keywords: Unbundling, voice, broadband

JEL Classification: L33, L52, L96

Suggested Citation

Bauer, Johannes M., Unbundling Policy in the United States Players, Outcomes and Effects. Communications & Strategies, No. 57, p. 59, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=976885

Johannes M. Bauer (Contact Author)

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information ( email )

409 Communication Arts Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
United States
517-355-8372 (Phone)
517-355-1292 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~bauerj

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